When you are asked by a salesperson
Can I help you?"
You can't help but answer
I'm just looking."
It's part self-defense and part habitual reaction. Just like when you're asked
How are you?"
And you say
Even if you just got out of a 12-day coma, are losing your home, just ran over your dog as you were backing out of the driveway and your 2 year old just tried to flush your iPhone down the upstairs toilet and it went unnoticed for 47 minutes while the toilet continued to run.
Today you cannot afford to be mediocre in any part of your business. David Sandler, in his timeless book "You Can't Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike At A Seminar," teaches a sales philosophy that follows the compartments of a submarine whereby you must seal off one compartment at a time to ensure the integrity of the vessel.
And it starts with connecting with the human being. Sandler calls it "Bonding and Rapport."
Why do you think boys and men spend so much time thinking of creative ways to ask their date to homecoming and prom and to marry them? Those are important questions that set the tone for the relationship.
So is how you greet your prospect when them come into your place of work.
So instead of allowing your staff to shoot from the hip - which is the First Deadly Sin of Selling—give them a specific way to greet visitors both in person and on the phone such as:
- "Welcome. What brings you in today?"
- "Good morning. Are you looking for something for yourself or for a loved one?"
- "Hi. Have you seen our specials this week or did you have something else in mind?"
- "Hello. Would you like water, coffee or a soda while you look around?"
- "Hi, thank you for calling The Sales Whisperer. What would you like to buy that will help you persuade others to buy from you?"
Notice a couple of things here:
- All of the questions require the prospect to engage their brain.
- None can be answered with a brush off, canned response.
- All are open-ended, which is why they can't be brushed off with a "No" or "I'm just looking."
- All of them prevent all but the most hardened prospects from launching into their version of 20 Questions where they have done their research, are price shopping and want to pepper you to find your weak spot so they can hammer you on price or convince themselves that the online retailer that offers free shipping is their best option.
Building a business requires thought and effort. Selling requires thought and effort. However, the more effort you apply to thinking, the less effort you'll apply to following up, leaving voice mails, sending endless emails, demonstrating, quoting, discounting, negotiating, overcoming objections, discounting some more, issuing exchanges, processing returns and putting out fires after the sale including bad reviews on your site, on social media and all over the web.
If you could use a little shot in the arm check out the Make Every Sale program. It's just what the whisperer warranted.
If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as: